Diwali festival, the festival of lights
During the second part of the year, Indians celebrate a lot of important festivals with zeal and vigour. During this period, Navratra, Dusshera and Diwali are celebrated. Diwali is one of them, which holds a very auspicious place in Hindu festivals.
In most parts of India, Diwali is celebrated by performing worship of Goddess Lakshmi. This is a ritual performed on Diwali day (the third day) in order to seek divine blessings from the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, who helps those who strive to achieve wealth. It consists of an elaborate ritual using grains, leaves, coins, and idols to prepare a ceremony.
During this ritual, one can invoke the Goddess by reciting the Vedic mantras or by thinking of her being showered with gold coins with two elephants standing one each side of her as you chant her name. Offerings are made and at the end, the aarti is performed quietly and a peaceful atmosphere should accompany the entire ritual.
Cleaning and decoration
On this occasion, lot of preparations take place prior to Lakshmi pooja. Every household is cleaned, this indicates to get rid yourself of any unnecessary elements in your environment. To welcome the Goddess, rangolis are created on the entrance of houses, small feet depicting Goddess’s feet are also painted.
Deepak, earthen pots
Diwali is nothing in absence of earthen pots of Diyas or Deepaks. Legend is that people of Ayodhya have lit earthen pots when Shri Ram returned along with his wife Sita, after slaying Ravana.
Wear new clothes and jewels on the second and third days. If you are a woman, try to obtain a sari, the traditional Indian dress for women. If you’re a woman, wear an Indian blouse(known as sari) and top. Men normally wear kurthas, the national clothes for Indian men.
The Tradition of Gambling
The tradition of gambling on Diwali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year. Diwali is associated with wealth and prosperity in many ways, and the festival of ‘Dhanteras’ (‘dhan’ = wealth; ‘teras’ = 13th) is celebrated two days before the festival of lights.